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Anatoly Sachenko

Telecommunications and Networks


Foundation Concepts: Foundations of Information in Business presents an overview of the five basic areas of information systems knowledge needed by business professionals, including the conceptual system components and major types of information systems. Telecommunications Trends - Organizations are becoming internetworked enterprises that use the Internet, intranets, and other telecommunications networks to support e-business operations and collaboration within the enterprise, and with their customers, suppliers, and other business partners. Telecommunications has entered a deregulated and fiercely competitive environment with many vendors, carriers, and services. Telecommunications technology is moving toward open, internetworked digital networks for voice, data, video, and multimedia. A major trend is the pervasive use of the Internet and its technologies to build interconnected enterprises and global networks, like intranets and extranets, to support enterprise collaboration, electronic commerce, and other ebusiness applications. The Internet Revolution The explosive growth of the Internet and the use of its enabling technologies have revolutionized computing a telecommunications. The Internet has become the key platform for a rapidly expanding list of information and entertainment services and business applications, including enterprise collaboration and electronic commerce systems. Open systems with unrestricted connectivity using Internet technologies are the primary telecommunications technology drivers in e-business systems. Their primary goal is to promote easy and secure access by business professionals and consumers to the resources of the Internet, enterprise intranets, and interorganizational extranets. The Business Value of the Internet - Companies are deriving strategic business value from the Internet, which enables them to disseminate information globally, communicate and trade interactively with customized information and services for individual customers, and foster collaboration of people and integration of business processes within the enterprise and with business partners. These capabilities allow them to generate cost savings from using Internet technologies, revenue increases from electronic commerce, and better customer service and relationships through interactive marketing and customer relationship management. The Role of Intranets - Businesses are installing and extending intranets throughout their organizations (1) to improve communications and collaboration among individuals and teams within the enterprise; (2) to publish and share valuable business information easily, inexpensively, and effectively via enterprise information portals and intranet websites and other intranet services; and (3) to develop and deploy critical applications to support business operations and decision making. The Role of Extranets The primary role of extranets is to link the intranet resources of a company to the intranets of its customers, suppliers, and other business partners. Extranets can also provide access to operational company databases and legacy systems to business partners. Thus, extranets provide significant business value by facilitating and strengthening the business relationships of a company with customers and suppliers, improving collaboration with its business partners, and enabling the development of new kinds of Web-based service for its customers, suppliers, and others. Telecommunications Networks The major generic components of any telecommunications network are (1) terminals, (2) telecommunications processors, (3) communications channels, (4) computers, and (5) telecommunications software. There are several basic types of telecommunications networks, including wide area networks (WANs) and local area networks (LANs). Most WANs and LANs are interconnected using client/server, network computing, peer-to-peer, and Internet networking technologies. Network Alternatives - Key telecommunications network alternatives and components are summarized in Figure 4.11 for telecommunications, media, processors, software, channels, and network architectures. A basic understanding of these major alternatives will help business and end users participate effectively in decisions involving telecommunications issues. Telecommunications processors include modems, multiplexers, internetworked processors, and various devices to help interconnect and enhance the capacity and efficiency of telecommunications channels. Telecommunications networks use such media as twisted-pair wiring, coaxial

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

cables, fiber-optic cables, terrestrial microwave, communications satellites, cellular and PCS systems, wireless LANs, and other wireless technologies. Telecommunications software, such as network operating systems and telecommunications monitors, controls and manages the communications activity in a telecommunications network.


Learning Objective Identify several major developments and trends in the industries, technologies, and business applications of telecommunications and Internet technologies. Provide examples of the business value of Internet, intranet, and extranet applications Identify the basic components, functions, and types of telecommunications networks used in business. Explain the functions of major types of telecommunications network hardware, software, media, and services.

III. LECTURE NOTES Section I: The Networked Enterprise

NETWORKING THE ENTERPRISE Businesses are becoming networked enterprises. The Internet and Internet-like networks inside the enterprise (Intranets), between an enterprise and its trading partners (extranets), and other types of networks have become the primary information technology infrastructure of many organizations. Telecommunications networks enable managers, end users, teams, and workgroups to electronically exchange data and information anywhere in the world with other end users, customers, suppliers, and business partners. By using such networks, companies can: Collaborate more creatively Manage their business operations and organizational resources more effectively Compete successfully in todays fast changing global economy Many organizations today could not survive without a variety of interconnected computer networks to service their information processing and communications needs. Analyzing FedEx versus UPS We can learn a lot about the role that wireless telecommunications technologies can play in e-business. Take a few minutes to read it, and we will discuss it (See FedEx versus UPS in Section IX).

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko


Major trends occurring in the field of telecommunications have a significant impact on management decisions in this area. Informed managerial end users should thus be aware of major trends in telecommunications industries, technologies, and applications that significantly increase the decision alternatives confronting their organizations. Industry Trends: Telecommunications networks and services are available from numerous large and small telecommunications companies. Explosive growth of the Internet and the World Wide Web has created a host of new telecommunications products, services and providers. Business firms have dramatically increased their use of the Internet and the Web for electronic commerce and collaboration. Technology Trends: Open systems with unrestricted connectivity, using Internet networking technologies as their technology platform, are becoming the primary telecommunications technology drivers. Increased industry and technical moves towards building client/server networks based on open system architecture. Open systems are information systems that use common standards for hardware, software, applications, and networking. Any open systems provide greater connectivity, that is, the ability of network computers and other devices to easily access and communicate with each other and share information. Open systems architecture also provides a high degree of network interoperability. That is, open systems enable the many different applications of end users to be accomplished using the different varieties of computer systems, software packages, and databases provided by a variety of interconnected networks. Change from analog to digital network technologies. Local and global telecommunications networks are rapidly converting to digital transmission technologies that transmit information in the form of discrete pulses, rather than waves. Digital transmission offers: a. Higher transmission speeds (transmits with pulses) b. Movement of greater amounts of information c. Greater economy d. Much lower error rates than analog systems e. Telecommunications networks to carry multiple types of communications (data, voice, and video) on the same circuits. (Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) technology) Change in communications media. Many telecommunications networks are changing from copper wire-based media and land-based microwave relay systems to fiber optic lines and communications satellite transmissions. Fiber optic transmission, which uses pulses of a laser-generated light, offer significant advantages in terms of: a. Reduced size and installation effort

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

b. c. d. Greater communication capacity Faster transmission speeds Freedom from electrical interference

Business Application Trends: The trend toward more vendors, services, Internet technologies, and open systems, and the rapid growth of the Internet, the World Wide Web, and corporate Intranets and extranets, dramatically increases the number of feasible telecommunications applications. Telecommunications networks are playing a vital and pervasive role in electronic commerce, enterprise collaboration, and internal business applications that support the operations, management, and strategic objectives of both large and small companies. Telecommunications functions have become an integral part of local and global computer networks that are used to dramatically: a. Cut costs b. Shorten business lead times and response times c. Support electronic commerce d. Improve the collaboration of workgroups e. Develop online operational processes f. Share resources g. Lock in customers and suppliers h. Develop new products and services. THE BUSINESS VALUE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS - [Figure 4.4]

Information technology, especially in telecommunications-based business applications, helps company overcome barriers to business success. Four strategic capabilities of telecommunications and other information technologies include: Overcome geographic barriers Overcome time barriers Overcome cost barriers Overcome structural barriers THE INTERNET REVOLUTION

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

The Internet is the largest network of networks today, and the closest model we have to the information superhighway of tomorrow. Distinguishing features of the Internet include: The Net does not have a central computer system or telecommunications center. Instead each message sent on the Internet has a unique address code so any Internet server in the network can forward it to its destination. The Net does not have a headquarters or governing body. The Internet is growing rapidly. Internet Applications: [Figure 4.5]

The most popular Internet applications are e-mail, browsing the sites on the World Wide Web, and participating in special interest newsgroups. Internet browser software enables millions of users to surf the World Wide Web by clicking their way to the multimedia information resources stored on the hyperlinked pages of businesses, government, and other web sites. Web sites are the launch sites for electronic commerce transactions between businesses and their suppliers and customers. The Internet provides electronic discussion forums and bulletin board systems formed and managed by thousands of special-interest newsgroups. Other applications include downloading software and information files and accessing databases provided by thousands of businesses, governments, and other organizations. Hold real-time conversations with other Internet users. Gathering information through online services using web browsers and search engines.


Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

Business use of the Internet is expanding from an electronic information exchange to a broad platform for strategic business applications. Business uses of the Internet include: Collaboration among business partners Providing customer and vendor support Buying and selling products and services Marketing, sales, and customer service applications Growth of cross-functional business applications Emergence of applications in engineering, manufacturing, human resources and accounting Enterprise communications and collaboration Electronic commerce Strategic business alliances THE BUSINESS VALUE OF THE INTERNET - [Figure 4.7]

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

What business value do companies derive from their business applications on the Internet? Answers: Substantial cost savings can arise because applications that use the Internet and Internet-based technologies (like Intranets and extranets) are typically less expensive to develop, operate, and maintain than traditional systems. Attracting new customers with innovative marketing and products Retaining present customers with improved customer service and support. Generating revenue through electronic commerce applications is a growing source of business value. Most companies are building commercial sites on the World Wide Web to achieve six major business values: Generate new revenue from online sales. Reduce costs through online sales and customer support. Attract new customers via web marketing and advertising and online sales. Increase the loyalty of existing customers via improved web customer service and support. Develop new web-based markets and distribution channels for existing products. Develop new information-based products accessible on the Web. THE ROLE OF INTRANETS Intranet characteristics include:

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

An intranet is a network inside an organization that uses Internet technologies (such as web browsers and servers, TCP/IP network protocols, HTML hypermedia document publishing and databases, and so on) to provide an Internet-like environment within the enterprise for information sharing, communications, collaboration, and the support of business processes. An Intranet is protected by security measures such as passwords, encryption, and firewalls, and thus can be accessed by authorized users through the Internet. A Companys Intranet can also be accessed through the Intranets of customers, suppliers, and other business partners via extranet links.

The Business Value of Intranets: [Figure 4.8]

Organisations are implementing a broad range of Intranet uses. Several common functional Intranet business applications include: Marketing Finance Human Resources Sales Manufacturing Training Customer Information Intranet applications support communications and collaboration, business operations and management, web publishing, and Intranet management. These applications can be integrated with existing IS resources and

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

applications, and extended to customers, suppliers, and business partners. Communications and Collaboration Intranets can significantly improve communications and collaboration within an enterprise. Examples include: Using an Intranet browser and PC or NC workstation to send and receive e-mail, voicemail, paging, and faxes to communicate with others within your organization, and externally through the Internet and extranets. Using Intranet groupware features to improve team and project collaboration with services such as discussion groups, chat rooms, and audio and videoconferencing. Web Publishing: The advantages of developing and publishing hyperlinked multimedia documents to hypermedia databases accessible on World Wide Web servers has moved to corporate intranets. The comparative ease, attractiveness, and lower cost of publishing and accessing multimedia business information internally via intranet web sites have been one of the primary reasons for the explosive growth in the use of intranets in business. Examples include: Company newsletters, technical drawings, and product catalogs can be published in a variety of ways including hypermedia and web pages, e-mail, net broadcasting, and as part of in-house business applications. Intranet software browsers, servers, and search engines can help you easily navigate and locate the business information you need. Business Operations and Management: Intranets are being used as the platform for developing and deploying critical business applications to support business operations and managerial decision making across the internetworked enterprise. Employees within the company, or external business partners can access and run such applications using web browsers from anywhere on the network whenever needed. Examples include: Many companies are developing customer applications like order processing, inventory control, sales management, and executive information systems that can be implemented on Intranets, extranets, and the Internet. Many applications are designed to interface with, and access, existing company databases and legacy systems. The software for such business uses (sometimes-called applets or crossware) is then installed on Intranet web servers. Employees within a company, or external business partners, can access and run applications using web browsers from anywhere on the network whenever needed. THE ROLE OF EXTRANETS Extranets are network links that use Internet technologies to interconnect the Intranet of a business with the Intranets of its customers, suppliers, or other business partners. Companies can: Establish direct private network links between themselves, or create private secure Internet links between them called virtual private networks. Use the unsecured Internet as the extranet link between its Intranet and consumers and others, but rely on encryption of sensitive data and its own firewall systems to provide adequate security. Business Value of Extranets: The business value of extranets is derived from several factors: The web browser technology of extranets makes customer and supplier access of intranet resources a lot easier and faster than previous business methods Extranets enable a company to offer new kinds of interactive Web-enabled services to their business partners. Thus, extranets are another way that a business can build and strengthen strategic relationships with its customers and suppliers. Extranets enable and improve collaboration by a business with its customers and other business partners. Extranets facilitate an online, interactive product development, marketing, and customer-focused process that can bring better designed products to market faster.

Section II: Telecommunications Network Alternatives

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ALTERNATIVES Telecommunications is a highly technical, rapidly changing field of information systems technology. Most end users do not need a detailed knowledge of its technical characteristics. However, they need a basic understanding and appreciation for some of the important characteristics of the basic components of telecommunications networks. Analyzing Nielsen Media Research and Others We can learn a lot about the business impact of wireless-based telecommunications alternatives from this case. Take a few minutes to read it, and we will discuss it (See Nielsen Media Research and Others in Section IX). A TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORK MODEL - [Figure 4.12]

Generally, a communications network is any arrangement where a sender transmits a message to a receiver over a channel consisting of some type of medium. Figure 4.12 illustrates a simple conceptual model of a telecommunications network, which shows that it consists of five basic categories of components: Terminals Terminals are any input/output devices that use telecommunications networks to transmit or receive data. They include: 1. Video Terminals 2. Microcomputers 3. Telephones 4. Office Equipment 5. Transaction Terminals Telecommunications Processors Support data transmission and reception between terminals and computers. They include: 1. Modems 2. Switches 3. Routers Telecommunications Channels Telecommunications channels are the part of a telecommunications network that connects the message source with the message receiver. They include the physical equipment used to connect one location to another for the purpose of transmitting and receiving information. Data are transmitted and received over channels, which use a variety of telecommunications media. Media include: 1. Copper Wires 2. Coaxial Cables 3. Fiber Optic Cables 4. Microwave Systems 5. Communications Satellites Computers Telecommunications networks interconnect computers of all sizes and types. They include: 1. Host Computers (mainframes) 2. Front-End Processors (minicomputers) 3. Network Servers (microcomputers)

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

Telecommunications Control Software Consists of programs that control telecommunications activities and manage the functions of telecommunications networks. They include: 1. Telecommunications Monitors (mainframe host computers) 2. Network Operating Systems (microcomputer network servers) 3. Communications Packages (microcomputers)

TYPES OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS NETWORKS There are many different types of telecommunications networks. However, from an end user point of view, there are only a few basic types, such as: Wide area networks Local area networks Virtual private networks Client/server networks Network Computing Peer-to-peer networks Wide Area Network (WAN): [Figure 4.13]

Wide area networks are telecommunications networks that cover large geographic areas. These networks cover areas such as: Large city or metropolitan area Whole country Many countries and continents Local Area Network (LAN): [Figure 4.14]

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Local area networks are telecommunications networks that connect information-processing devices within a limited physical area. These networks cover areas such as: Offices Classrooms Buildings Manufacturing plant Some of the characteristics of LANs include the following: LANs use a variety of telecommunications media, such as ordinary telephone wiring, coaxial cable, or wireless radio systems to interconnect microcomputer workstations and computer peripherals. To communicate over the network, a PC usually has a circuit board called a network interface card.

Most LANs use a powerful microcomputer with a large disk capacity as a file server or network server that contains a network operating system program (e.g., Novell NetWare) that controls telecommunications and the use of network resources. LANs allow end users in a workgroup to communicate electronically; share hardware, software, and data resources; and pool their efforts when working on group projects.

Virtual Private Networks: [Figure 4.15]

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

Many organizations use virtual private networks (VPNs) to establish secure Intranets and extranets. A virtual private network is a secure network that uses the Internet as its main backbone network, but relies on the firewalls and other security features of the Internet and Intranet connections and those of participating organizations. Client/Server Networks: [Figure 4.16]

Client/server networks have become the predominate information architecture of enterprise computing. Computing power has rapidly become distributed and interconnected throughout many organizations by networked computer systems that take the form of client/server networks. Characteristics of a client/server network: End user PC or NC workstations are the clients.

Clients are interconnected by local area networks and share application processing with network servers,

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which also manage the networks. LANs may be interconnected to other LANs and wide area networks of client workstations and servers.

Continuing Trend: Downsizing of larger computer systems by replacing them with client/server networks. For example, a client/server network of several interconnected local area networks may replace a large mainframe-based network with many end user terminals. This typically involves a complex and costly effort to install new application software that replaces the software of older, traditional mainframe-based business information systems, now called legacy systems. Client/server networks are seen as more economical and flexible than legacy systems in meeting end user, workgroup, and business unit needs, and more adaptable in adjusting to a diverse range of computing workloads. Benefits of client/server computing include: Clients (end users) can perform some or most of the processing of their business applications. LAN servers can share application processing, manage work group collaboration, and control common hardware, software, and databases. Data can be completely processed locally, where most input and output must be handled. Provides access to the workstations and servers in other networks. Computer processing is more tailored to the needs of the end users. Increases information processing efficiency and effectiveness, as users are more responsible for their own application systems. Allows large central-site computers to handle the jobs they do best - such as high-volume transaction processing, communications network security and control, and maintenance and control of large corporate databases. Clients at local sites can access the corporate superservers to receive corporate wide management information or transmit summary transaction data reflecting local site activities. Network Computing: [Figure 4.17]

The growing reliance on the computer hardware, software, and data resources of the Internet, Intranets, extranets, and other networks has emphasized that for many users the network is the computer. This network computing, or network-centric, concept views networks as the central computing resource of any computing environment. It appears to be the architecture that will take computing into the next century. Features of network computing include: Network computers provide a browser-based user interface for processing small application programs called applets. Network computers are microcomputers without floppy or hard disk drives that are designed as low-cost

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networked computing devices. Servers provide the operating system, applets, databases, and database management software needed by the end users in the network.

Peer-to-Peer Networks: [Figure 4.18]

The emergence of peer-to-peer (P2P) networking technologies and applications is being hailed as a development that will revolutionize e-business and e-commerce and the Internet itself. In the Napster architecture, P2P file-sharing software connects your PC to a central server that contains a directory of all of the other users (peers) in the network. When you request a file, the software searches the directory for nay other users who have that file and are online at that moment. It then sends you a list of user names that are active links to all such users. Clicking on one of these user names prompts the software to connect your PC to their PC (making a peer-to-peer connection) and automatically transfers the file you want form their hard drive to yours. Major Advantages and Limitations of Napster Architecture it is reliant on a central directory and server. The directory server can be slowed or overwhelmed by too many users or technical problems. However, it provides the network with a platform that can better protect the integrity and security of the content and users of the network Gnutella architecture is a pure peer-to-peer network, since there is no central directory or server. First, the file-sharing software in a Gnutella-style P2P network connects your PC with one of the online users in the network. Then an active link to your user name is transmitted from peer to peer to all the online users in the network that the first user (and the other online users) encountered in previous sessions. In this way, active links to more and more peers spread throughout the network the more it is used. When you request a file, the software searches every online user and sends your list of active file names related to your request. Clicking on one of these automatically transfers the file from their hard drive to yours. Major Advantages and Limitations of Gnutella P2P Architecture Have been plagued by slow response times and bogus and corrupted files containing viruses, junk, static, and empty code. TELECOMMUNICATIONS MEDIA To get from here to there, data must move through something. A telephone line, a cable, or the atmospheres are all

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forms of transmission media, or channels. Telecommunications channels (communication lines or links) are the means by which data and other forms of communications are transmitted between the sending and receiving devices in a telecommunications network. Telecommunications media are the physical media used by telecommunications channels. They include: Twisted-pair Wire Coaxial Cable Fiber Optics Terrestrial Microwave Communications Satellites Cellular and PCS Systems Wireless LANs The Wireless Web Twisted-Pair Wire: Twisted-pair is ordinary telephone wire, consisting of copper wire twisted into pairs (twisted pair wire). Most widely used media for telecommunications. Used in established communications throughout the world. Used for both voice and data transmissions. Used extensively in home and office telephone systems and many LANs and WANs. Disadvantages: Susceptible to a variety of types of electrical interference (noise), which limits the practical distances that data, can be transmitted without being garbled. Signals must be refreshed every one to two miles through the use of repeaters, which are very expensive. Does not offer security. Coaxial Cable: This telecommunications media consists of copper or aluminium wire wrapped with spacers to insulate and protect it. Insulation minimizes interference and distortion of the signals the cable carries. Can carry a large volume of data - about 100 million bits per second (1800 to 3600 voice calls at once). A 2" diameter coaxial cable can carry up to 5,500 channels. Coaxial cables can be bundled together into a much larger cable for ease of installation. Can be placed underground and laid on the floors of lakes and oceans. Allows for high-speed data transmission used in high-service metropolitan areas for cable TV systems, and for short-distance connection of computers and peripheral devices. Used extensively in office buildings and other work sites for local area networks. Disadvantages: More expensive than twisted pair. Fiber Optics: This media consists of one or more hair-thin filaments of glass fiber wrapped in a protective jacket. Signals are converted to light form and fired by laser in bursts. Relatively low cost Offers high transmission volume. A 2" diameter fiber optic cable can carry up to 50,000 channels. Can carry digital signals, as well as analog thus increase communications and capability. Provides substantial size and weight reductions. Provides increased speed and greater carrying capacity than coaxial cable and twisted-pair lines. Is not affected by and does not generate electromagnetic radiation. Is not susceptible to electronic noise and so has much lower error rates than twisted-pair and coaxial cable. Speed of communications is 10,000 times faster than that of microwave and satellite systems. Message security of fiber optic communications is very resistant to illegal data theft; taps can be easily

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detected. Can be used undersea for transatlantic use.

Biggest disadvantages of using fiber optic cable are: Installation can be difficult, as splicing the cable to make connections is not easy; however, this disadvantage also offers an advantage, as the lines are more secure, making tapping them difficult. Costly to purchase. Specialized communications equipment is expensive. WIRELESS TECHNOLOGIES Terrestrial Microwave Involves earthbound microwave systems, which transmit high-speed radio signals in a line-of-sight path between relay stations spaced approximately 30 miles apart. Uses the atmosphere as the medium through which to transmit signals. Used extensively for high-volume as well as long-distance communication of both data and voice in the form of electromagnetic waves Disadvantages: Microwave signals cannot bend around the curvature of the earth; instead they must be relayed from point to point by microwave towers, or relay stations, placed approximately 30 miles apart. (The surface of the earth typically curves about 8 inches every mile). Saturation of the airwaves with microwave transmissions has reached its maximum. Communications Satellites Use the atmosphere as the medium through which to transmit signals. A satellite is some solar-powered electronic device that receives, amplifies, and retransmits signals; the satellite acts as a relay station between satellite transmission stations on the ground (earth stations). Three satellites placed in orbit can cover the entire surface of the earth, with some overlap. Used extensively for high-volume as well as long-distance communication of both data and voice. Cost-effective method for moving large quantities of data over long distances. Disadvantages: Satellites are very expensive to develop and place in orbit. Signals weaken over long distances; weather conditions and solar activity can cause noise interference. A satellite is useful for only 7 - 10 years. Anyone can listen in on satellite signals, so sensitive data must be sent in a secret, or encrypted, form. Depending on the satellites transmission frequency, microwave stations on earth can jam, or prevent, transmission by operating at the same frequency. Signal transmission may be slow if the signals must travel over very long distances. Cellular and PCS Systems: Use several radio communications technologies that divide a geographic area into small areas or cells typically from one to several square miles. Each cell has its own low-power transmitter or radio relay antenna device to relay calls from one cell to another. This technology is used to support mobile phone service, and mobile voice and data communications. Important communications medium for mobile voice and data communications. Disadvantages: Not secured lines Wireless LANs: Other buildings frequently do not have conduits for coaxial cables or additional twisted-pair wire, and the conduits in newer buildings may not have enough room to pull additional wring through. One solution to this problem is

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installing a wireless LAN, using one of several wireless technologies. These include: High-frequency radio technology similar to digital cellular Low-frequency radio technology called spread spectrum. Infrared technology which uses beams of infrared light. Advantages: Eliminate the difficulty and costly task of wiring existing buildings. IEEE 802.11b (WI-FI) is faster and less expensive than Standard Ethernet and other common wire-based LAN technologies. The Wireless Web: Wireless access to the Internet, intranets, and extranets is growing as more Web-enabled information appliances proliferate. Smart telephones, pagers, PDSs, and other portable communications devices have become very thin clients in wireless networks. Agreement on a standard wireless application protocol (WAP) has encouraged the development of many wireless Web applications and services. Telecommunications industry continues to work on third generation (3G) wireless technologies whose goal is to raise wireless transmission speeds to enable streaming video and multimedia applications on mobile devices. WAP standard specifies how Web pages in HTML or XML are translated into a wireless markup language (WML) by filter software and pre-processed by proxy software to prepare the Web pages for wireless transmission from a Web server to a Web-enabled wireless device. Disadvantages: Distance limitations TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROCESSORS Telecommunications processors such as modems, multiplexers, switches, and routers perform a variety of support functions between the computers and other devices in a telecommunications network. A telecommunications processor includes: Modems Multiplexers Internetworked Processors Modems: These devices are the most common type of communications processor, and are probably the most widely used data communications hardware in business. Functions of modems include: Convert digital computer signals to analog signals for transmission over telephone lines, then to receive these signals and convert them back to digital signals. This process is known as modulation and demodulation. The word "modem" is a contraction of modulate and demodulate. Multiplexers A multiplexer is a communications processor that allows a single communications channel to carry simultaneous data transmissions from many terminals. Typically, a multiplexer merges the transmissions of several terminals at one end of a communications channel, while a similar unit separates the individual transmissions at the receiving end. Internetwork Processors: Telecommunications networks are interconnected by special-purpose communications processors called internetwork processors such as switches, routers, hubs, and gateways. Switch - is a communications processor that makes connections between telecommunications circuits in a network so a telecommunications message can reach its intended destination. Router - is a communications processor that interconnects networks based on different rules or protocols, so a

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telecommunications message can be routed to its destination. Hub - is a post switching communications processor. This allows for the sharing of the network resources such as servers, LAN workstations, printers, etc. Gateway - is a communications processor that connects networks that use different communications architectures.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS SOFTWARE Software is a vital component of all telecommunications networks. Telecommunications and network management software may reside in PCs, servers, mainframes, and communications processors like multiplexers and routers. Telecommunications software packages for mainframe-based WANs frequently use telecommunications monitors or teleprocessing monitors. Servers in LANs rely on network management software called network operating systems (E.g., Novell NetWare or Microsoft Windows NT Server). Corporate Intranets use network management software like Netscapes Enterprise Server. Many times, telecommunications software known as middleware can help diverse networks communicate with each other. Network Management: Telecommunications software packages provide a variety of communications support services. For example, they work with a communications processor to connect and disconnect communications links and establish communications parameters such as transmission speed, mode, and direction. Network management packages such as LAN network operating systems and WAN telecommunications monitors: Determine transmission priorities Route (switch) messages, polls, and terminals in the network Form waiting lines (queues) of transmission requests Detect and correct transmission errors Log statistics of network activity Protect network resources from unauthorized access Examples of major network management functions include: Traffic management manage network resources and traffic to avoid congestion and optimise telecommunications service levels to users. Security provide authentication, encryption, and auditing functions, and enforce security policies.

Network monitoring troubleshoot and watch over the network, informing network administrators of potential problems before they occur. Capacity planning survey network resources and traffic patterns and users needs to determine how best to accommodate the needs of the network as it grows and changes.


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There are several basic types of network topologies, or structures, in telecommunications networks. Three basic topologies used in wide area and local area telecommunications networks are the: Star network Ring network Bus network Star Network The star network, a popular network configuration, involves a central unit that has a number of terminals tied into it. Ties end user computers to a central computer. The central unit in the star network acts as the traffic controller among all the other computers tied to it. The central computer is usually a mainframe (host), which acts as the file server. A star network is well suited to companies with one large data processing facility shared by a number of smaller departments. Many star networks take the form of hierarchical networks with a centralized approach. Advantages of the star network: Several users can use the central unit at the same time. Disadvantages of the star network: The whole network is affected if the main unit goes down, and all communications stop.

Considered less reliable than a ring network, since the other computers in the star are heavily dependent on the central host computer. If it fails, there is no backup processing and communications capability and the local computers will be cut off from the corporate headquarters and from each other. Fault Tolerance becomes very important. Cost of cabling the central system and the points of the star together are very high.

Ring Network A ring network is much like a bus network, except the length of wire, cable, or optical fiber connects to form a loop. Local computer processors are tied together sequentially in a ring with each device being connected to two other devices. A ring network has a decentralized approach. A ring network is often used to link mainframes over wide distances.

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

Considered more reliable and less costly than star networks because if one computer fails, the other computers in the ring can continue to process their own work and communicate with each other.

Advantages: Ring networks do not require a central computer to control activity nor does it need a file server. Each computer connected to the network can communicate directly with the other computers in the network by using the common communications channels, and each computer does its own independent applications processing. When one computer needs data from another computer, the data is passed along the ring. The ring network is not as susceptible to breakdowns as the star network, because when one computer in the ring fails, it does not necessarily affect the processing or communications capabilities of the other computers in the ring. Bus Network In a bus network, a single length of wire, cable, or optical fiber connects a number of computers. All communications travel along this cable, which is called a bus. Bus networks have a decentralized approach. Advantages: There is no host computer or file server. Often used to hook up a small group of microcomputers that share data. Not as expensive as the star network, and if one of the microcomputers fails, it will not affect the entire network. NETWORK ARCHITECTURES AND PROTOCOLS Until recently, there was a lack of sufficient standards for the interfaces between the hardware, software, and communications channels of data communications networks. For this reason there is often a lack of compatibility between the data communications hardware and software of different manufacturers. This situation has: Hampered the use of data communications Increased data communications costs Reduced data communications efficiency and effectiveness. Industry Response: Computer manufacturers and national and international organizations have developed standards called protocols and master plans called network architectures to support the development of advanced data communications networks. Protocols: A protocol is the formal set of rules for communicating, including rules for timing of message exchanges, the type of electrical connection used by the communications devices, error detection techniques, means of gaining access to communications channels, and so on. The goal of communications network architectures is to create more standardization and compatibility among communications protocols. Network architectures: The goal of network architectures is to promote an open, simple, flexible, and efficient telecommunications environment. This is accomplished by the use of: Standard protocols Standard communications hardware and software interfaces Standard multilevel interface between end users and computer systems. The OSI Model: [Figure 4.25]

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

The International Standards Organization (ISO) is working on the establishment of a standard protocol for data transmission. They have developed a seven-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model to serve as a standard model for network architectures. Dividing data communications functions into seven distinct layers promotes the development of modular network architectures, which assists the development, operation, and maintenance of complex telecommunications networks. Seven layers of OSI include: Application layer Presentation layer Session layer Transport layer Network layer Data link layer Physical layer The Internets TCP/IP- [Figure 4.25] The Internet use a system of telecommunications protocols that has become so widely used that it is equivalent to network architecture. The Internets protocol suite is called Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol and is known as TCP/IP. TCP/IP consists of five levels of protocols that can be related to the seven layers of the OSI architecture. TCP/IP is used by the Internet and by all Intranets and extranets. Many companies and other organizations are also converting their client/server networks to TCP/IP. Five levels of TCP/IP include: Application or process layer Host-to-host transport layer Internet protocol (IP) Network interface Physical layer BANDWIDTH ALTERNATIVES - [Figure 4.26]

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

The form or method of communications affects the maximum rate at which data can be moved through the channel and the level of noise that will exist. Transmission Speed: Bandwidth - Communications speed and capacity of telecommunications networks can be classified by bandwidth. This is the frequency range of a telecommunications channel; it determines the channels maximum transmission rate. Baud Rate - The number of times per second that a data communications signal changes; with each change, one or more bits can be transmitted - bits per second (BPS). Voiceband - Are low-speed analog channels, which are normally used for voice communications, but can also be used for data communications by microcomputers, video terminals, and fax machines. Medium-Band - Are specially conditioned leased lines that can handle faster transmission.

Broadband - Are high-speed digital channels, which allow transmission rates at specific intervals. They typically use microwave, fiber optics, or satellite transmission.

SWITCHING ALTERNATIVES To transmit data in a network, there are various switching alternatives: Circuit Switching - a link is established between the sender and the receiver, which remains in effect until the communications session is completed (e.g., telephone). Message Switching - a message is transmitted a block at a time from one switching device to another.

Packet Switching - involves subdividing communications messages into fixed or variable groups called packets. Typically, packets are 128 characters long, while they are of variable length in the frame relay technology. Value-added carriers who use computers and other communications processors to control the packet switching process and transmit the packets of various users over their networks frequently operate packet switching networks. Cell Switching - ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) switch, which breaks voice, video, and other data into, fixed cells, and routes them to their next destination in the network.


Bandwidth Alternatives: The communications speed and capacity of telecommunications networks can be classified by bandwidth. This is the frequency range of a telecommunications channel; it determines the channels maximum transmission rate (voiceband, medium-band, and broadband). Business Applications of the Internet: Companies are using the Internet for business in a variety of ways, including enterprise communications and collaboration, electronic commerce, and strategic business alliances. Business Value of the Internet: Strategic capabilities which enable businesses to disseminate information globally, communicate interactively with customized information and services for individual customers, and foster collaboration of people and integration of business processes within the enterprise and with business partners. Business Value of Telecommunications: Information technology, especially in telecommunications-based business applications, help a company overcome geographic, time, cost, and structural barriers to business success. Cellular Phone System: A radio communications technology that divides a metropolitan area into a honeycomb of cells to greatly increase the number of frequencies and thus the users that can take advantage of mobile phone service. Client/Server Networks: A computing environment where end user workstations (clients) are connected to micro or mini LAN (servers) or possibly to a mainframe (superserver). Coaxial Cable: A sturdy copper or aluminium wire wrapped with spacers to insulate and protect it. Groups of coaxial cables may be bundled together in a bigger cable for ease of installation. Communications Satellites: Earth satellites placed in stationary orbits above the equator that serve as relay stations for communications signals transmitted from earth stations. Downsizing: Moving to smaller computing platforms, such as from mainframe systems to networks of personal computers and servers. Extranets: A network that links selected resources of the intranet of a company with its customers, suppliers, and other business partners, using the Internet or private networks to link the organizations intranets. Fiberoptics: The technology that uses cables consisting of very thin filaments of glass fibers that can conduct the light generated by laser at frequencies that approach the speed of light. Internet Revolution: The explosive growth of the Internet is the revolutionary technology phenomenon of the 1990s. The Internet has become the largest and most important network of networks today, and is evolving into the information superhighway of tomorrow. Internet Technologies: The Internet and its technologies are being used to build interconnected enterprises and global networks, like intranets and extranets that form information superhighways to support enterprise collaboration, electronic commerce, and internal business applications. Internetwork Processors: Internetwork processors such as bridges, routers, hubs, or gateways to other LANs or wide area networks

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

interconnect many LANs. Intranets: Open, secure Internet-like networks within organisations. Legacy Systems: The older, traditional mainframe-based business information systems of an organization. Local Area Network (LAN): A communications network that typically connects computers, terminals, and other computerized devices within a limited physical area such as an office, building, manufacturing plant, or other work site. Modem (MOdulation - DEModulation): A device that converts the digital signals from input/output devices into appropriate frequencies at a transmission terminal and converts them back into digital signals at a receiving terminal. Multiplexer: An electronic device that allows a single communications channel to carry simultaneous data transmissions from many terminals. Network Architectures - OSI: The International Standards Organization (ISO) has developed a seven-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) to serve as a standard model for network architectures in order to promote an open, simple, flexible, and efficient telecommunications environment. Network Architectures - TCP/IP: The Internets protocol suite is called Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). TCP/IP consists of five levels of protocols that can be related to the seven layers of the OSI architecture. TCP/IP is used by the Internet and all intranets and extranets. Network Computing: A network-centric view of computing in which the network is the computer, that is, the view that computer networks are the central computing resource of any computing environment. Network Management: Network management packages such as network operating systems and telecommunications monitors determine transmission priorities, route (switch) messages, poll terminals in the network, and form waiting lines (queues) of transmission requests. They also determine and correct transmission errors, log statistics of network activity, and protect network resources from unauthorized access. Network Operating System: A network operating system is a program that is used to control telecommunications and the use of and sharing of network resources. Network Server: LANs use a powerful microcomputer with a large disk capacity as a file server or network server. The server handles resource sharing and telecommunications. Network Topologies: Two basic types of network topologies, or structures, in telecommunications networks include point-to-point lines and multidrop lines. In point-to-point lines, each terminal is connected by its own line to a computer system. In multidrop lines, several terminals share each data communications line to a computer. Open Systems: Model of network protocols enabling any computer connected to a network to communicate with any other computer on the same network or a different network, regardless of the manufacturer. Peer-to-Peer Networks (P2): Computing environments where end user computers connect, communicate, and collaborate directly with each other via the Internet or other telecommunications network links.

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

Protocol: A set of rules and procedures for the control of communications in a communications network. Switching Alternatives: In telecommunications transmission, a variety of switching alternatives exists. These include: circuit switching, message switching, packet switching, and cell switching. Telecommunications Channels: Telecommunications channels are the part of a telecommunications network that connects the message source with the message receiver. It includes the physical equipment used to connect one location to another for the purpose of transmitting and receiving information. Telecommunications Media: Telecommunications media are the physical media used by telecommunications channels. They include, twistedpair wire, coaxial cables, fiber optic cables, terrestrial microwave, communications satellite, cellular, and infrared systems. Telecommunications Network Components: Telecommunications components include terminals, telecommunications processors, telecommunications channels and media, computers, and telecommunications control software. Telecommunications Processors: Multiplexers, concentrators, communications controllers, and cluster controllers that allow a communications channel to carry simultaneous data transmissions from many terminals. They may also perform error monitoring, diagnostics and correction, modulation-demodulation, data compression, data coding and decoding, message switching, port contention, and buffer storage. Telecommunications Software: Telecommunications software, including network operating systems, telecommunications monitors, web browsers, and middleware, control and support the communications activity in a telecommunications network. Trends in Telecommunications: Toward a greater number of competitive vendors, carriers, and services; toward integrated, digital, global networks for voice, data, and video, with heavy use of fiber optic lines and satellite channels; toward the pervasive use of telecommunications networks in support of business operations, managerial decision making, and strategic advantage in global markets. Virtual Private Network: A secure network that uses the Internet as its main backbone network to connect the intranets of a companys different locations or to establish extranet links between a company and its customers, suppliers, or other business partners. Wide Area Network (WAN): A data communications network covering a large geographic area. Wireless LAN: Using radio or infrared transmissions to link devices in a local area network. Wireless Technologies: Using radio wave, microwave, infrared, and laser technologies to transport digital communications without wires between communications devices.

The Internet is the driving force behind developments in telecommunications, networks, and other information technologies. Do you agree or disagree? How is the trend toward open systems, connectivity, and interoperability related to business use of

Prof. Anatoly Sachenko

the Internet, intranets, and extranets? How will wireless information appliances and services affect the business use of the Internet and the Web? What are some of the business benefits and management challenges of client/server networks? Network computing? Peer-to-peer networks? What is the business value driving so many companies to rapidly install and extend intranets throughout their organizations? What strategic competitive benefits do you see in a companys use of extranets? Do you think that business use of the Internet, intranets, and extranets has changed what businesspeople expect from information technology in their jobs? Do you believe that the insatiable demand for everything wireless, video, and Web-enabled will be the driving force behind developments in telecommunications, networking, and computing technologies for the foreseeable future?